Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Chairmen of the Board: Greatest Hits [HDH, 1991]
General Johnson has had a hand in more choice songs than many El Lay millionaires, like for instance "It Will Stand," "Bring the Boys Home," "Want Ads," the Grammy-winning (and here obtrusive) "Patches." He rules Carolina beach music, living off club gigs and checks in the mail without ever venturing 500 miles from home. But this early-'70s group was his baby. More striking than his clenched throat or Holland-Dozier-Holland-approved hooks is the skewed guitar funk he bore down on after his secondhand Motown stopped selling. Since pop was his game, the influences are Sly and Norman Whitfield rather than George and JB. And if "Let's Have Some Fun" isn't slammin', my name is Rumpofsteelskin. A-